Originally Posted by LiveActionPro
I would love to go to Japan for a week or maybe two, Just curious to know what kind of costs I would go through, any hot spots? good food? I would love to go to the fish market that is the biggest in the world from what I hear.
Would like to stay in a nice hotel.
Depends on what city you want to visit.
Tokyo will be most expensive, Osaka might run about 70% - 80% the cost of Tokyo, Fukuoka will be half of what Tokyo costs.
If you want to go to the fish market, that would be Tokyo, plan to get there around 5am - 6am.
Nice hotel? Look for a package and think about sticker shock. If you are coming from the States, right now you have to add on about 10% to your budget because of the yen dollar ratio.
Personally, I think the nice hotel angle is overrated for Japan. It isn't like one wants to spend a lot of time in their room and because the rooms tend to be small even in the nicest hotels, coupled with the 24 hour aspect of the nation, there are lots of reasons to get out and about. As well, the nicer hotels are not exactly convenient.
A good hotel, reasonably priced, centrally located, would be the Keio Plaza in Shinjuku. Of course, the Grand Hyatt is a fantastic place to stay but your pleasure should be centered on what is outside of the hotel....not in it. Odaiba is great for a place to stay but out of the way.
If you want to spend any time at all near Fuji-san, consider the Fuji-ya hotel. It is tremendously expensive for the locals, but they have special gaijin prices that are generally fixed at $100, and it will provide the most traditional feel of Japan one can experience.
You won't be able to make reservations for the following, but you might consider booking two hotels with a day or two off in between locations so you can check out the love hotels. These have rooms that are at least twice the size of the standard chain hotel and can run about 75% of the cost of the same.
Hot spots? Depends on what you are interested in. If you want to sample the sex scene: definitely Kabuki-cho. If you want more tradition: stay away from Tokyo and head towards Kyoto.
Season is extremely important: if you are thinking about Spring, Tokyo can be nice but quite cool.
If I was booking a trip for someone, I would say skip Tokyo, bring an international driver's license, head down to Fukuoka on Kyushu and drive around the island, soaking up the local color.
But by all means, if what you are really interested in is to say that you went to Tokyo, go for it. Get a hotel package, don't count on scheduling too many things for one day, go with the flow of the metro.....and bring lots of money:
Hotels, nice ones: US$180 - $250 per day.
Food: breakfast, US$15 lunch, US$12 dinner, inc drinks, US$30 (you can do it much cheaper but need to be familiar with Japan in order to do so)
Transportation: opt for a rail pass if possible, or one day passes in whatever city you happen to be in. Rail transportation is relatively cheap, but count on at least $3 for the shortest of trips. No more than $10 for a one hour trip to local destinations.
Car rental can be relatively cheap, if you are outside of Tokyo, with nice vehicles as cheap as $40 a day.
Another thing to consider: Tokyo is a gateway city to Asia for the airlines. If one is going to Beijing, Hong Kong or Seoul, the ticket is only a fraction more expensive (if more expensive at all
) than a ticket to Tokyo or Osaka. One can book a ticket to Beijing, for example, and make a stopover in Tokyo. You can really get some value out of an Asian vacation by scheduling such a stopover.
Bottom line: a trip to Tokyo is NOT necessarily a trip to Japan. Sure, that is where the city is, BUT it will be a city experience much more than a Japan experience. I lived there for ten years before spending the last eight on the island of Kyushu, in the city of Fukuoka. And down here is soooooo much more enjoyable than Tokyo.
I don't feel comfortable being such a goodwill ambassador for Fukuoka, but even those who live in Tokyo right now will back me up on how much nicer Fukuoka is.
There are lots of pics available in this thread: